Category Archives: Nonfiction

Two Books

by Kate McCorkle

Sitting at a one-chair table—the one shoved into a dusty nook between decorative pillars—at the Borders’ café, I hoped I might not cry in public. At least not the snot-bubble sobbing that erupts when I’m alone. Walking the dog. Cleaning. In the car. At my desk. Maybe it would just be the repressive, misty-eyed weeping I manage for work or church or the grocery store. The fluttering dabs around the eye with a balled-up tissue, like my body is merely leaking.

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Holding the Pose

by Tamara Moan

My neighbor calls it my “stripper job.” I drop my clothes to pose nude for figure drawing classes. It’s not as titillating as it sounds. I sit as still as possible on a hard stool in a drafty room, eyes focused on a grimy spot on the paint-spattered wall, trying my best to ignore the itch on my nose or the cramp in my right calf.

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The Theory of Everything

by Matthew Fairchild

The Standard Model and M-Theory

No matter how big the object, everything can be broken down into the same elements, the ones on the periodic table we had to memorize in chemistry class. Those elements are in turn created by protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons are made up of quarks (up, down, strange, charm, top, bottom), leptons (electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau, tau neutrino), and bosons (photon, w, z, gluon, higgs, graviton). Quarks, leptons, and bosons are made up of vibrating strings attached to membranes. We know these as the most basic elements that create all matter and life in the universe. Continue reading

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Another Immigrant Story

by Holly Karapetkova

In the 1980s you were a movie star in a small Eastern European country. You played a prince, an attendant lord, and other roles of note. We watch them on YouTube. “That’s me,” you say, though it really isn’t—not anymore. You have to point yourself out because none of us can recognize you, the muted color of 30 years passing. On screen you watch the war escalate. Continue reading

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The Big Bad Brown Swiss

by John Coyne

I was seven or eight years old when I got so drunk at a family party that I ran out of our farm house, down to the barn, and attacked our big brown Swiss cow with a broom.

I don’t remember this act of animal cruelty, but the next morning, when I woke from a stupor, my mother—as well as my brothers and sisters—told me in detail how I had impishly sipped booze left in cans and glasses on the dining room table until I was so intoxicated my suppressed rage at one of our milking cows exploded into violence. Continue reading


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